New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 30, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
4 I Tuesday, Auqust 30, 2011 | HERALOZfciiUNo.cuMOPINION
HERALD-ZEITUNG EDITORIAL BOARD
Publishtr and Editor Doug Ton«v
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\WE VOVm A BULLET ON THAT ONE .
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Improved underpass Why destroy a a benefit to all piece of NB history?
fhe Soutli Sep,iiin Av(?nuc underpass near thr Post Ofticr needs to he v/idened to proiTiote salf'ty ,iiid serve this community for .uiother 50 years, Si^ymp. no to the funds would be a hup<' (ins take we and future p,eneia tions vViH rci’je?
Since 17 ye.cus our elected city officials i,ounty elected officials, and f)usi ness leaders have urp.ed the state fnglrway depaitment to improve/v.'iden this undei pass Why’ Even three decades ago citizens lecog nized the dangers of fidving this narrov,/ two-lane under pass that is connerted on botli sides f)y four l.ines. It floods in heavy rainfall acci dents abour.d and it does not lend itspjf in its (urrent state to the city s dovyntow'n strategy In response to the (>ast 32 years of requests, the high way department has ex[)end ed nearly %\ niillion in riglit of way acquisition and plan ning costs removing bust nesses and fiomes in prepa ration for the day tfiat con struction funds would become available I ne city and NBU have also expend ed funds on the project Recently, the $9 ? million required has been secured Now some are saying city leaders should say "No thanks"
1 fie highway department has listened to tlu' impor tance of preserving fiistoncal structures fhus. tfiey are pledging to take the soot blackened stone blocks off before coristiuction clean and store tfiem, then place them back on the improved structure A six-foot sidewalk will be added, decorative rail
mg along the top. enough pavement for a fuke lane, as well as pumps to eradicate water fiom tfte underpass in times of fieavy (am/ilooding I hose saying not to touch the underpass cite the need to "calm traffic from there to the Plaza I have rarely been calrrt driving through this gauntlet have you^ Plus tfie roadway is four lanes on eacfi side of the underf)ass with three stop lights from tfie Post Office to the Plaza; nearly a mile StriK tures like tfjese to remain viable for future gen erations, must be carefully upgraded The courthouse, currently under "historic" renovation, will fiave central air conditioning 1 don t think that was in tfie original building m 1865 but future occupants will appreciate it' Widening the underpass, not elevating it will expand the lifetime of the structure, and maintain its historic ambiance Eventually, the state will transfer owner ship/maintenance of this stretcfi of roadway to local taxpayers. So. there is a good cfiance that this may be our final opportunity to get someone else to foot the bill for these improvements City council needs to approve the project It IS a win win for New Braunfels,
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The historical ICN Railroad underpass, the gateway to our city, was built under the New Deal in 1935 with local labor and limestone quarried from tfie area Any ctianges would lose Its eligibility as a National Register of Historic Places The City's Master Plan states restore the railroad bridges they are significant as the gateways' to downtown that evoke a "sense of place
The [)owntown Implementation Plan (DIP) just apprwed by Council identifies five (rit ical Success factors for Downtown No 5 Perform enhancement projects on underpasses to preserve fiis-toric structures and announce entry to Downtown " Recom mendations include ftans form South Segum into a three lane travel/turning area with wider sidewalks and planting areas (that) would have beneficial impact on the pedestrian.
Why destroy a unique, charming gateway witfi one that IS two-and a half times as wide and looks similar to the I 35 underpass^ V/hy encourage a speedway that opens up truck traffic lor six blocks when all the roads leaving tfie Plaza narrow to one lane, and the traffic issues and accidents will continue^
One argument for widen mg says: This is a "top priority" If we don't do it now. we won’t have the money if we decide to do it later Previous resolutions did not take into account the new Walnut Avenue and included Landa overpass Recently, the community recognized inif)or tance and overwhelmingly rejected Landa I his is one pot of money; the legislatuie will
fund future projects Ihey also argue tire safety issue witfi flooding In June 2010, tfie under pass on Seguin at I 35 flood ed, as did streets all over town Parallel streets Castell and Comal are options for travel in heavy rams.
They say widening of the underpass will help facilitate vehicle traffic and allow addi tional track for a commuter rail
Incoming traffic on Seguin and Castell flows vvell, no double tracks are shown at the underpass on the feasabilty study We can save the underpass and cure tfie problems Iraffic congestion is a result ot the Nacogdoches light "Blink" the light and make Nacog doches one way to Castell Ihe light issue will not be solved by four lanes The majority of accidents tn the area are those attempt ing to turn across traffic Put in a central turning lane on either Side (not in IxDOf plan) ihe project is estimated at one-and a-half years This is a difficult economy without placing undue hardship on businesses by diverting traffic on side streets Preservation is good for the pocketbook of a community and there are many issues that a new underpass will not solve
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Profits behind protests not health of our rivers
By John Laodry
Special to ttie t-terald Zeitung
It s summer in New Braunfels, and we ve again had choose your own description ^>erenniai. interminable, intractable — problems on our rivers, which occur yearly just as surely as tube and beer vendors object to improvements These vendors deny problems exist even as tfieir clients choke the Comal and Guadalupe tivers with tons of trash
However, New Braunfels finally has a coura geous mayor, Gale Pospisil. and four equally resolute council metnbers who passed a mucfi needed anti littering ordinance In addition, the Herald Zeitung helped by promoting this ban protecting our rivers Passing the ordinance was difficult because the people who've prevented earlier improvements bitterly tned to wreck this one The river [xroblems sfiouldn't have lasted tins long, but less courageous councils failed by using half rtieasures or even worse they did nothing Vaclav Havel, thc first President of the Czech Republic, said, "We have laid waste to our soil and the rivers and the forest tfiat our forefathers bequeathed to us New Braunfels' City Coun cil has passed an ordinance to repair the "waste" to our rivers and partially restore tfiem to the gems they once were Previous ly, we abandoned these jewel-frke rivers to the exploiters, and the reputation of the city as a family tourist destination was damaged
A better future for our rivers was voted for and tfie citizens are eternally grateful Now selfish businesses that profit from the rivers' dysfunctiort threaten to sue A lawsuit should be wel corned Paying legal fees to establish the ban will be very small compared to the many thousands of dollars the city fias paid previously for river management Without this ban, even more in river management fees would f)e extracted from citizens in the future
Those who oppose the ban want a vote and a vote should be encouraged, Until now our rivers have been despoiled, our policemen choked and our streets made unsafe with drunks In return, citizens fiave had to pay most of the nver manage merit costs Not many voters will vote to ( ontinue paying for these damages
Mrs Kathleen Krueger attempted to get Sen, Wentworth to pass legislation permitting New Braunfels' (ontrol of the riveis Despite assuring Mrs Krueger that he would work on the leg islation. fie was advised by some to discontinue thr legislation In Mrs, Krueger s words, a few city leaders and, particularly, tfie powerful liquor lobby didn t want our citizens to be granted that authonty
We know tfiat the "powerful liquor lobby" would have tfieir fiands on a defeat since their profits are fngfiest when the rivers' problems are greatest What s shocking is "city leaders" also had their finger pnnts on this defeat, and then arrogance IS breath taking Wfio are these city leaders^' The citizen taxpayers need to know Regardless of tfie court's decision in the tfueatened law suit, a renewed effort must be made with the legislature to give New Braunfels full control of tfie two riveis witliiri its boundaries Let's hope that tfie wisdom, good judgment and determina tion of the council and Mayor Pospisil succeed,
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1 tw Ass(M:(alefl Press Today is Tuesday, Aug 30, the 242nd day of 2011 On Aug. 30,1861, Union Gen, John C, Ftemont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared slaves there to be free, (However, Fremont's emancipation order was countermanded by President Abraham Lincoln),
In 1862, Union forces were defeated by the Confederates at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va In T905, Ty Cobb made his inajor-league debut as a player for the Detroit Tigers, hitting a double in his first at-bat in a game against the New York Highlanders,
In 1941, during World War If, German forces approaching Leningrad cutoff the remaining rail line out of the city,
In 1963, the "Hot Line" communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.
In 1967, the Senate confirmed tfie appomtiTient of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the U S Supreme Court,
In 1997, Americans received word of the car crash in Paris that claimed the lives of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul (Because of the time difference, it was Aug 31 where the crash occurred )Congratulations, NB, for passing container ban
As a native of New Braunfels wfiose grandfather served bar tn a saloon on San Antonio Street, I congratulate your city on its recent stand against disp(j‘jable con tamers on tfie Comal River
As an early Texas municipality you fiave far too mucti for wfiicfi to be |)roud to let yourself continue to be besmircfied as ttie town witfi a beautiful nver trashed fjy unconcerned consumers of alcohol
1 have been a successful owner and operator of an establishment in Bastrop County, wfiicfi Sold and served alcoholic beverages If any of the people engaged in such businesses or those related to your river activity cannot figure out how to successfully deal with your common sense restrictions, they are not worthy of contin-
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uing in business. A continued strong com munity stance of being a place that the majority of people would like to visit or otherwise be a part of will be of long standing value to your city Your rules will serve you in good stead even If they may fiave to be somehow amended to meet any existing state or federal laws
Ed Steinbring BastropCan something be done about business"junkyard7
On the corners of Loop 337. West San Antonio St and I 35 Southbound frontage IS an eye sore that the City of New Braunfels and owners of the "best waterpark in tfie country" should be ashamed of The property looks like a junkyard Aren't junkyards regulated by city ordinances to have fencing that hides such ■‘stuff"’ One would
think tfiat Schlitterbahn would want to present a better image to the thousands of f)eople tliat pass by there everyday, locals and visitors alike.
Surely. 1 am not the only person who feels this way
Susan Stockberger New BraunfelsThanks for putting out fire
My family and 1 would like to thank all tfie fire firelighters that came to our aid on the night of Aug 24, Canyon Lake Fire Department was the first qñ; site they called tor help and had response for Bul-verde, New Braunfels and Spring Branch A special thanks to our neighbor that put out the fire between our swimming pool and the property line fence
Gerald, Darlene, Chad, & Daisy Larsen Canyon Lake
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